A bittersweet working-class comedy that resonates far beyond its immediate milieu, RAINING STONES may be Ken Loach's most approachable film and, ironically, his most slyly political.
Bob (Bruce Jones), wife Anne (Julie Brown), and daughter Coleen (Gemma Phoenix) live in Manchester, where jobs are scarce and Bob is reduced to sheep-rustling with best friend Tommy (Ricky Tomlinson) to make ends meet. Coleen's first Holy Communion is approaching and Bob can't afford to buy her a
dress, so he embarks on some quick-money misadventures, often with Tommy in tow, which include drain-cleaning and robbing lawn turf from an absent homeowner. Bob's van is stolen and he borrows heavily from a loan shark, but money gets squandered in the pub almost as fast as it comes in. Soon, the
loan shark turns violent, with Coleen's first Communion only days away. What's a father to do? "We start off with all these big ideas," observes Anne. "I'll live and die in this flat and nobody will even know."
RAINING STONES has a cumulative power that draws you into its bleak, but never humorless, world and produces some beautiful moments of recognition. Loach avoids pat answers and stereotypes, his apparent lack of style belying a sophisticated grasp of character development and episodic narrative
drive. The naturalistic acting is uniformly excellent, in tune with Loach's uncompromising vision of a world in which an uncaring political/economic system turns decent, hard-working people into scavengers who will steal from one another. RAINING STONES ends on an upbeat note, but not until Loach
has illuminated one family's struggle and despair.
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: NR
- Review: A bittersweet working-class comedy that resonates far beyond its immediate milieu, RAINING STONES may be Ken Loach's most approachable film and, ironically, his most slyly political. Bob (Bruce Jones), wife Anne (Julie Brown), and daughter Coleen (Gemma… (more)
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